Microvascular complications are common in type 2 diabetes in primary care. Intensified management of glycaemia or blood pressure had little effect on microvascular complication rates in recent large trials (ADVANCE, VADT, ACCORD). In 2005, the FIELD study demonstrated a significant reduction in the need for laser treatment for retinopathy, and of progression of renal dysfunction, with fenofibrate versus placebo. The FIELD ophthalmology sub-study showed that fenofibrate reduced the risk of new retinopathy and progression of retinopathy. Also, fenofibrate versus placebo significantly reduced the risk of non-traumatic, diabetes-related amputations in a post-hoc analysis from FIELD. Recently, the results of the ACCORD Lipid study were consistent with these findings, as fenofibrate significantly reduced progression of retinopathy and albuminuria, apparently independent of effects on lipids. These findings suggest a role for fenofibrate in the prevention of major diabetic microvascular complications.